Downstate Flooding Disaster: Obama administration turns down Illinois’ flood assistance.

The response came almost three months after heavy rains and flooding events that began on December 26, 2015. In the following days, damage from high water was reported in 24 Downstate Illinois counties, with effects concentrated in (but not limited to) southwestern Illinois along the Mississippi River.

Municipalities and property owners in Jersey, Madison, St. Clair, Monroe, Randolph, and Alexander Counties reported that buildings and other infrastructure were significantly damaged from the flooding. In many cases, damaged Illinois communities stood directly across the Mississippi River from equivalent Missouri communities that did receive federal disaster designation and assistance. However, the federal government’s use of a population-weighted threshold for determining assistance eligibility worked against Illinois’ application, with the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) saying that the same flooding event was scored differently with respect to the two states and their populations. The news from Washington was received on Friday, March 11. The Illinois Emergency Management Authority (IEMA) may try to appeal the decision.